Yes, RSillence, I am doing Rob Tuytel’s Creating 3D Environments Blender Course. It is an interesting course and does things differently than Micheal & Ben’s Blender Course. I am glad I took Micheal & Ben’s Course (LOL or the majority so far have more to finish) first. I don’t feel Rob’s course is really for Blender Beginners; it feels more like an Intermediate course to me since he doesn’t spend a lot of time explain the how or why of things. Stick with Micheal and Ben’s course; they provide a very firm foundation for Beginners and is very helpful in Rob’s course to know this information.
If you can get past the Chapter 3, the “Fence” project, it gets much easier. I am working on Chapter 5 and so far we have just been modeling and applying textures. We haven’t worked anymore with Cycle Nodes. Like you, I find the whole Cycles Node thing pretty daunting.
I did find a cool YouTube you might be interested in. It shows you how to create your own Material Nodes Library for future use so I am going back to the Fence lesson (at some point) and create his set-up for future use! It would be nice if someone did a separate short course for beginners on using Cycle Nodes by creating some beginner projects and walking you from simple to complex note set-ups. There are way to many different nodes and very different set-ups so is very confusing!
Good Luck on your courses. Can’t wait to see some of your work.